Having worked with hundreds of business development professionals, I’ve noticed that those who generate the lion’s share of revenues share certain habits and traits. The top sales people:
Seven seconds. That’s how quickly busy executives can form an impression about you and the reason for your call. For you, it’s the difference between a successful B2B sales call and a hang up.
If you’re cold calling and connect with a decision maker, and don’t want to be left listening to the dial tone, you’ll make every second—and every sentence—count. Open your call with a powerful, succinct message designed to intrigue and hint at the value you have to share.
Professional telemarketing agents will tell you, it’s not the slick pitch that closes the deal. And there’s no magical trick or gimmick to opening doors. Whether you’re inviting executives to your next seminar or scheduling a face-to-face meeting, it all comes down to how you present yourself, the way you set the tone for the call and how effectively you capture a prospect’s interest.
This seven-step blueprint will help you open your next B2B sales call on just the right note and build rapport rapidly:
"Stop selling. Start helping." — Zig Ziglar
When you’re on the phone with a business prospect, you likely have a goal of creating a sales opportunity or making a sale. Since you have quotas to meet, it’s not surprising that you’re laser focused on selling.
The only way you’re going to sell anything to other business people, however, is to help them to solve a problem. So when you make a business phone call, imprint the wise words of Zig Ziglar on your brain. “Stop selling. Start helping.”
That’s the key to engagement.
That said, it’s easier said than done. You need to know the secrets to putting your prospect’s problem in the forefront. Here are six steps you can take during a business phone call to help your potential customer.
According to the Harvard Business Review, more and more sales organizations are shifting their resources from field to inside sales. That’s because inside sales is not only cost effective, but it is also delivering the goods.
This begs the question, “How do you get the most out of your inside sales initiative?”
Here are three inside sales techniques that put you in the driver’s seat, moving forward as fast as possible on the road to delivering increased sales.
It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Scarfing up a whole box of chocolates at one time, for instance, might fall into that category. A more work-related example is when the phone starts to ring off the hook. It’s what you always dreamed of, so how could you possibly have too many phone calls? If you can’t keep up with answering them, however, you have too much of a good thing. Another frustrating situation is when leads pour in from your latest e-book, and you can’t respond rapidly enough to the interest you’ve generated.
When you can’t answer your calls or follow up on content downloads, it put the results of your marketing efforts at risk. That’s because you’re 21 times more likely to qualify a lead that you call within five minutes than let response time stretch to 30 minutes. Those statistics are stunning but true. They are based on actual data from six companies within the InsideSales.com system that had followed up on over 15,000 leads with 100,000 call attempts.
It follows that you need to set yourself up for success in response handling. To do so, you need to be capable of taking the following steps.
“Become genuinely interested in other people.”— Dale Carnegie
Are your salespeople extroverts, introverts or ambiverts?
We tend to think of salespeople as extroverts with the gift of gab. A study, however, published in Psychological Science dug into the personality traits of those who are most successful in sales. It turns out that those who fall in the middle of the scale of introversion to extroversion, the ambiverts, are most effective.
Based on the sales of 300 salespeople over a three-month period, the ambiverts brought in an impressive 32% more revenue than the extroverts and 24% more than the introverts. That means even the introverts outperformed the extroverts. These stats raise an interesting question. Why are the ambiverts and introverts out-performing the archetypal salespeople —those who are outgoing, talkative and love the spotlight?
B2B sales acceleration is all about closing more deals faster. When people think about speed, technology often comes to mind. There are, of course, many technologies that accelerate sales, but there’s one that you may not have considered.
According to an article in Forbes by Ken Krogue, one of the keys to sales acceleration is to pick up the phone. While new, shiny tools are exciting to marketing leaders, in the end, what’s most important is increased sales.
It turns out that to help buyers buy, which is what you have to do to sell faster, you actually have to talk to them. What’s interesting, however, is that you don’t need to have a face-to-face conversation. This isn’t just speculation. Research proves it.
InsideSales.com showed that on average inside sales teams close deals in 69 days while outside sales take 144 days.
A little math is in order. Inside sales programs slash the sales cycle by more than 50 percent!
Why is inside sales so much more efficient?
As a B2B marketer, it’s easy for you to get caught up in lead generation. After all, you often get measured on the number of leads you generate and even the cost-per-lead. But the truth is, none of that matters unless the leads convert. Inbound leads without a strategy for conversion are like kindling and logs without a match. One won’t ignite your sales. The other won’t start a fire.
The leads, however, are the starting point. If you have them, that’s great. Now you just need the match that ignites leads and transforms them into sales. You can find it in these inbound lead conversion tips.
“More than 60 percent of companies plan to invest in technology for ABM to better align sales and marketing over the next twelve months.” — Sirius Decisions, 2015 State of Account Based Marketing
Account based marketing (ABM), a term coined by ITSMA in 2004, is not new. As shown by Sirius Decision’s research, however, it is gaining traction. Companies are voting with their wallets by investing in technology to support the strategy.
Account based marketing recognizes that large organizations have tremendous sales potential, and each should be treated as its own market. Instead of fishing for business with a net, this strategy is like fishing with a spear. There is no waste.
Vendors identify their targeted large accounts and focus on each holistically. With some Fortune 500 companies reaching revenues higher than the GDPs of some nations, there’s a strong rationale behind this approach.
“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” — Lee Kuan Yew
With today’s technology, work can be done anywhere, not just within the walls of your company. This new reality opens the door to many possibilities for achieving business goals. For one, you can outsource your telemarketing program. But how do you know if outsourcing is the right decision for you?
If you’re not sure, look for these signs. Any one of them could mean that you’d be better off outsourcing your telemarketing than trying to tackle the task internally.